DeChellis stays put

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com

   JOHNSON CITY -- There is a saying that home is where the heart is. On Monday, ETSU head basketball coach Ed DeChellis let it be known his heart and his home is in Johnson City.
   DeChellis withdrew his name from consideration for the College of Charleston head coaching job Monday afternoon, with his family being the main consideration.
   DeChellis has three daughters, one of which is a student at ETSU.
   DeChellis interviewed at College of Charleston Saturday, but decided it wasn't the right thing to do.
   When talking about the situation, DeChellis pointed out that nothing had been put on the table.
   "An official offer was never made," DeChellis said. "I went down there and looked into it, but my family is important to me. I realized it was not the right thing to do. I wasn't able to do it.
   According to DeChellis, his weekend in Charleston wasn't very enjoyable.
   "This weekend was not a fun weekend," DeChellis said. "I looked at my wife and she said 'you're not going anywhere are you.' And I said 'no.' It's flattering to be considered, but on the other hand it's nerve-racking."
   DeChellis also realized this weekend how much he enjoyed working with ETSU president Dr. Paul Stanton and ETSU athletic director Todd Stansbury.
   "Todd Stansbury and Dr. Stanton have been very supportive," DeChellis said. "I've had several conversations with Dr. Stanton this weekend, and it means a lot to me that he would call. That's the kind of guy I want to work for.
   "I'm thrilled everything has worked out. I can't stress how important it is to work for Dr. Stanton and Todd Stansbury. They've been helpful the whole time."
   The Buccaneers, who have won the Southern Conference's North Division the last two seasons, have most of their players coming back.
   Those players include Tiras Wade, Jerald Fields, Ryan Lawson and Zakee Wadood. In addition, one of the nation's top recruits is coming to ETSU in post player Brad Nuckles from Council, Va.
   All of this, including the fact College of Charleston is another Southern Conference school, weighed heavily on the mind of DeChellis.
   "I couldn't leave my players," DeChellis said. "Going to another the school in the league would be tough. I just wanted to see what they had, but there is no need to go anywhere else. I talked to them this afternoon, and told them they were stuck with me.
   It was rumored that DeChellis would receive a huge pay raise if he went to Charleston, but DeChellis said that wasn't the case.
   "I think the numbers in the paper were inflated," DeChellis said. "I think a lot of that money had to do from camps, but all that money wasn't going to be there for at least a couple of seasons. I've always been told don't take a job for the money."
   College of Charleston will be making an appearance at the Mini-Dome next season, and DeChellis just couldn't imagine sitting on the other bench.
   'It would have been really weird," DeChellis said. "It was in the back of my mind. Charleston is a great town, but Johnson City is also a great place to live. I'm glad to be here."
   And DeChellis is also glad this saga is over with.
   I'm thrilled to get this behind me," DeChellis said.